Five months after the stimulus bill was passed, we can now say that we’ve witnessed the following under-stimulating results.
Payrolls are falling more than forecast, with employers cutting 467,000 jobs in June, following a 322,000-job decline in May. Factory jobs fell by 136,000 after falling 156,000 in May.
Unemployment is at 9.5%, the highest level in 15 years, and projected to exceed 10% by the end of 2009. Some economists expect it to remain at historically high levels for years.
The average workweek is at 33 hours, the lowest in 45 years.
Average weekly earnings are down to $611.
The national debt is $11.5 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office projects the deficit for 2009 to be almost $2 trillion and for 2010 to be more than $1.4 trillion.
The Treasury is increasing its sale of debt to pay for spending. Treasury offered $1 trillion in notes and bonds in the first half of 2009 and plans to offer another $1 trillion by the end of 2009.
Colin Powell, of all people, is alarmed that Obama’s spending orgy may be swelling government and the national debt: “I’m concerned at the number of programs that are being presented, the bills associated with these programs and the additional government that will be needed to execute them… [We have] a huge, huge national debt that, if we don’t pay for [it] in our lifetime, our kids and grandkids and great-grandchildren will have to pay for…” Now he tells us!
Jared Bernstein, chief economic advisor to Joe Biden, whose office is managing the stimulus, says, “It’s working, it’s demonstrably working.” According to Bernstein, $200 billion in stimulus money has already been obligated or spent. Case closed! read more »